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The statistical data for mobile market in January - September 2017 show that the trends shaped out last year continue: a slight increase in the number of users and voice traffic in mobile networks and a decrease in providers' revenues on this market. Thus, in nine months, the number of users increased by more than 63,7 thousand (+1,4%) up to over 4 million 493 thousand (SIM cards), the volume of voice traffic increased compared to the same last year, by 11,4 million minutes (+0,2%) and amounted to 4 billion 640,5 million minutes, while the total volume of revenues decreased by more than 120,2 million lei (-4,6%) and equaled over 2 billion 519,4 million lei.
So, in nine months, the number of users increased over 63,7 thousand (+1,4%) up to over 4 million 493 thousand (SIM cards), the volume of voice traffic increased, compared with the same timeframe of last year, by over 11,4 million minutes (+0,2%) up to 4 billion 640,5 million minutes, while the total revenues dropped by over 120,2 million lei (-4,6%) to 2 billion 519,4 million lei.
According to the data reported to the National Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Information Technology (ANRCETI) by the three mobile service providers (Orange Moldova, Moldcell and Moldtelecom - Unite), the total number of mobile users increased due to the extension of the customer base of Moldtelecom and Orange Moldova, by 4,5%, up to 366,5 thousand, and, respectively, by 1,9%, to 2 million 617,7 thousand. The number of Moldcell clients decreased by 0,13% and amounted to 1 million 508.7 thousand. As a result, the penetration rate of mobile telephony services (SIM cards) per 100 inhabitants increased by 1,9 percentage points and reached 126,5%.
The analysis of voice traffic evolution shows that the volume of traffic in the networks of Orange Moldova and Moldtelecom increased, compared to the nine months of 2016, by 2,3 and 4,7%, respectively, whereas the traffic in Moldcell network decreased by 5,3%. As a result, the average monthly traffic of a user during the reporting period kept to the level of last year and showed 261 minutes (four hours and 21 minutes) and the duration of a call was 1,7 minutes.
The reported data also show that the revenue decrease in the mobile market led to a decrease in the average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) by 4,4 lei (-5,7%), to 74,7 lei. The ARPU for Orange Moldova was 80,6 lei, for Moldtelecom – 72,8 lei and Moldcell – of 64,8 lei.
The decrease of revenue on this market is caused by three main factors: the first is related to the change of mobile consumers preferences, who have been increasingly using alternative communication services (OTT - Skype, Viber, etc.) for telephone calls and messaging, which led to a significant decrease of international traffic, and of revenues from this service. The second factor is the reduction of the revenues from interconnection services of the national providers' networks, following the decrease, according to ANRCETI regulations, of the maximum price that may be perceived by the providers for the termination of the national calls in their own mobile networks, which in 2017 was reduced by about 30%. The third factor is the saturation of the mobile telephony market, a trend that has become more and more perceivable in recent years.
During the reporting period, the market shares of the three mobile service providers in terms of revenues did not undergo any substantial changes. At the end of September, the share of Orange Moldova was 64,6%, Moldcell – 30,9% and Moldtelecom – 4,5%.
November 23, 2017